When is a river not a river?
It’s a Saturday morning and we are on our way to the city centre to go on a city bike tour. Komoot is showing the way to the bike shop. An easy 10km …. very quiet roads at 9am … as we approach the city we are lead onto a large park, later to learn that this is the river!! The roads are quiet because most of the population are out and about exercising on this wonderful day. Summer has come, and the morning is still a comfortable temperature. There are many paths to choose … is it a park run? There are cyclists, but the bulk of the population here are jogging. A group of girls jog with a trainer leading. Just before me a few cyclists cut across my path and park their bikes … a fitness session is about to start. In the middle section is an athletics track. Further up men shooting hoops then a warm up on a mini soccer pitch. This is the ‘river’ … terrible floods in 1957 lead to building a canal, now this riverbed is a 9km green park with lots of shady trees, grassed areas and tracks for all uses.
Our bike tour begins we are the only ones here today for this city tour, our leader is an Argentinean young man who is doing his PhD at a Uni in Valencia. He is particularly knowledgeable and very personable. We ride through many city attractions in the old town, learn a lot about the history and culture of this amazing city.
The old city is a labyrinth of streets … we realise later when we try to get back on our way home. It was easy with Komoot and a guide.
From history we go to the latest and greatest the city has to offer – the City of Arts and Sciences precinct. We were in awe at these magnificent futuristic structures. Something photos could not possible portray.
As John would say, ‘I had a bee in my bonnet’ and wanted to go into Valencia tonight to see the City Arts and Sciences Centre at night. He was finally convinced … the train station only 500m away but the machine was difficult to work. A young lad about 15yo helped us using his phone and google translate … and gave us the Metro card he had and we topped it up for our tickets. He probably spent 20 minutes with us and wouldn’t leave until we were sorted. What a trooper he was … his mother should be proud. We gave him a couple of euros for his trouble.
Meanwhile, the sun doesn’t set until 9.15pm … back on the river paths at 7.30pm, it’s still busy, it has cooled off from the 30+C today, families out relaxing with picnics. Joggers, walkers, birthday parties … it’s all happening. There is an event at the Opera house as people arrive in their finery.
The sun is slowly sinking as we wait in anticipation … a restaurant in the precinct has outside tables … we order a drink each … probably the best rosé I have had. We can see reflections starting to appear as dusk creeps in. Time to cycle around for photo opportunities … we are not alone … it is a paradise for group pics along with selfies. The lights in the buildings reflecting in the water pools are amazing and take on a new level of imagination.